The World Naked Bike Ride is a protest against oil dependency all over the world. By cycling naked, participants celebrate cycling and the human body while demonstrating how vulnerable people are to road pollution from automobile traffic.
This year this event is happening on Saturday June 12th and begins at 1pm at Coronation Park. A full route map and more details are available at the World Naked Bike Ride Toronto Wiki. You can also watch last years event on video.
It seems people really get into a comfy zone with their social concerns and seem exhilarated by the bare experience. One thing I am sure you are asking yourself after looking at this picture is, how in the world is it not uncomfortable to ride naked? So I assembled a few frequently asked questions taken from the official World Naked Bike Ride Wiki that may be of interest:
Isn’t riding naked uncomfortable?
Surprisingly, for both women and men, riding naked isn’t especially less comfortable than riding clothed. When riding with clothes on you’re often rubbing against the seams, so in some ways naked riding is comfier! Ride routes will often be chosen with less experienced cyclists in mind, so will avoid hills and be more leisurely in pace, increasing comfort.
Isn’t public nudity offensive?
People are offended by all kinds of harmless things, people and ideas. People have been offended by religious cartoons, Muslims converting to Christianity (in Afganistan), farting, burping, Martin Luther King, Jesus, Gandhi, the accidental exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast, rock’n'roll, sex education, tattoos, dancing, the peace movement, environmentalists, droopy pants, “minority” groups, potbellies, hairy chests, Teletubbies, and most likely even you at some point. For a good essay looking at this issue look at The Offence of Public Nudity by Mark Storey
Is it legal?
Remember, it’s perfectly legal for women to go topless in Canada anywhere that a man might, which includes cycling on city streets. Furthermore, the Crown has acknowledged that participating in an orderly event naked is not illegal, so long as you are wearing something, such as shoes. And you will also be happy to know that we have been cycling naked with a few polite and respectful bicycle cops for the last few years, who kindly stop traffic for us on those busy left turns, and who do their best to keep us all together as a group.
What does cycling naked have to do with environmental protest?
We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.The World Naked Bike Ride is in Toronto Saturday June 12th. It starts at 12pm at Coronation Park.
Why would anybody embrace public nudity?
Non-sexualized, colourful and creative nakedness in uptight societies is a refreshing way to remind people of some of the fundamental freedoms of life that people have collectively handed over, without really thinking of the consequences. Its about body-positive values: living a healthy life in tune with, not against, our environment; respecting the natural beauty and diversity of human bodies; and establishing and projecting a positive self-image and rejecting shame.
So whether you are doing it for a social or activist motive, you will have a memorable experience biking amongst half and fully naked cyclists around Toronto. For those who are simply bystanders, you can rest assure you are not going crazy and yes you ARE seeing naked people biking.